BLTC Newsletter: Autumn 2008

Contents

Chairman's Report

This is my first report as Chair since being elected at the AGM, and I would like to start by thanking Colin for the tremendous job he has done for the club over the last five years. He has worked so hard to keep the club running as well as it has, and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. I am enjoying the challenge of attempting to follow in his footsteps! Colin has agreed to continue on the committee, and I believe we have a very strong and dedicated group, with a great deal of enthusiasm and individual skills. Martin has kindly taken on the job of producing this newsletter, which has a great new look. Thank you to all the committee members for their continued hard work and support since the AGM, and I look forward to the rest of the year.

Thank you to the many members who have supported our recent events — the skittles evening at the Queen's Head in Aston Cross, the Season Starter and the barbecue were all great fun, and it was lovely to see the courts full and everyone enjoying themselves. The next social event is to be a quiz (ably hosted by Colin!) on Friday 17th October, and I hope to see many of you there. Our members are the most important part of the club, so I would like to encourage you to share your thoughts on the club with the committee. We value your ideas, and any feedback is welcome if it helps us to improve your club! We have a suggestions box in the clubhouse, and you can also speak to a committee member if there is anything you want to discuss.

Congratulations and thanks to all the team players who have helped to make this one of our most successful seasons, with all four teams finishing within the top 3 positions in their respective leagues. Enormous thanks to Carol for organising all the matches, and to Andy and Anthony Hickling for leading the men's teams. Everyone involved has contributed to this success and we are justly proud of all our team players.

As members of British Tennis, we are working to ensure that the club complies with the new 'Clubmark' scheme, which we hope will put us in a strong position to apply for future funding. The Wimbledon Draw remains an important benefit for our club, and only members of British Tennis are now eligible — so please register today. The more members that join, the more Wimbledon tickets we will receive!

Team Reports

Congratulations go to all our teams for this very successful season, and our thanks to all the players who committed their time to the team matches. Thanks to Anthony Hickling and Andy Gray for their team leadership in the men's camp.

Ladies' A and B Teams

The ladies A team finished 3rd in their division. The team consisted of 4 permanent players with members from the "B" team filling in when required. Carole Bankes and Sara Holyer played a total of 10 rubbers as a pair and won them all. Sara Holyer has now moved away and we wish her well in her new home in the Plymouth area.

The Ladies' B team won their division this year with 41 points, having lost just one match. Wendy Coke played 8 matches, 16 rubbers with Carol Smith, and as a pair they lost just one rubber.

Ladies Daytime League

We are entering a team in the Ladies Daytime League again.  This will consist of two rounds of matches with other clubs in our area, the first being from September to December and the second from January to April.  Unfortunately, after our promotion to the first division in the spring, we are now back in the second division, but we are hoping for another successful season this autumn.

Winter Floodlit Leagues

This winter will see two mixed teams compete in divisions 3 and 4 of the Gloucestershire Floodlit league, together with a Men's doubles team in the East Glos Winter Floodlit League.

Men's A Team

Last summer we played our final league game in the knowledge that, even if we won, the team might still be relegated. Eventually we kept our status in Division 2 by the narrowest of margins. This year we again faced another tight situation with two unfinished matches left to play against De la Bere and Cheltenham Civil Service, only this time the issue was whether or not we would be promoted together with Cirencester, the clear winners. Winning our last rubber meant our final points tally was the same as Lydney's, but we squeezed through by having lost one match fewer than them. From the outset, as in the previous three seasons, the main priority was promotion for the B team and given the constraints this placed on the A team it was with some surprise we found ourselves in a situation with promotion a distinct possibility for both. The eleven point improvement in our final points total from last year can be put down to several factors: the regular attendance by most players to team practices throughout the year; some dynamic play by Rob Jones in the first half of the season; consistent performances from Stuart Hutchinson and as importantly, some very telling contributions from players drafted in from the B team, with Andy Gray's and Colin Smith's performances of particular importance.

Having achieved Division One status for the first time in eight years it will be interesting to see how we cope, but we are looking forward to the challenge.

Men's B Team

The Men's B team had a successful season, finishing second in their league on 30 points, only behind winners Nailsworth C on win loss ratio. After drawing the first four matches it was looking like a mid table finish was on the cards, but a very strong second half of the season propelled the team to their promotion place. Many thanks go to all those involved?.. Andy Gray, Martin Sime, Colin Smith, Tim Troughton, Ron Loxley and Malcolm Waters. Lets hope next season in Division 2 will be as successful and will continue the contest within the team for the right to be the A pair!

Junior Teams

The club entered two teams in the Gloucestershire Junior League this summer. The U12 team was Rory McGuigan, Daniel McGuigan, Simon Cox, Dan Barber, Tom Elliot and Joe Bradley. The U14 team was Max Barber, Peter Hutchinson, Steven Rhodes, and Jake Walker. Both teams enjoyed the season and had some good games. The U14's played three games, winning two, including a good win against local rivals Beckford. The U12's also improved significantly since last year, winning more games and competing well. Both teams enjoyed the season and thanks goes to Claire Barber and Grace McGuigan for organising the U14's and U12's respectively.

Social Tennis

The club's social tennis sessions form the mainstay of social tennis within the club and have been generally well attended throughout the summer. They are held on Wednesday and Sunday mornings, Monday and Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons, all year round.

Throughout September the floodlights will be free of charge for the evening social sessions — another reason to come along and enjoy a good game of tennis in fantastic surroundings. From October, the committee has decided to again allow a £1 fee per player to cover the cost of balls and floodlights.

The floodlights will still need to be controlled by tokens but if you use a token for a club night please note it in the signing-in book and any you use will then be refunded by Maggie Warren.

Club Tournament

The club tournament will be run from mid October to March, and along the same lines as last year. It will be open to all members who are able to play three-set matches.

This means that juniors can join in the singles and also partner up with a friend or parent in the doubles. If numbers allow, the tournaments will be a knock-out format with the team players being entered in the later rounds.

The losers in the first round will be put through to a plate tournament which will also be in a knock-out format. This should ensure that everyone gets to play at least two matches.

To enable this to happen it is important to get a good number of entries, so please try to enter if you can.

The finals weekend will be March 14/15th 2009. All finals must be played on this date, and if finalists aren't available their places will be taken by the lucky losers of their previous matches.

Please complete the enclosed entry form and return it with the entrance fee as soon as possible.

2007/2008 Tournament Winners:

Tennis Club Social Events

Two very successful social events have taken place so far this year. The first was a Skittles Evening at the Queen's Head at Aston Cross. Nearly thirty people took part in an enjoyable evening which also raised funds for the club.

A club BBQ was then held in July and was well attended, with a social game of tennis followed by some tasty well-barbequed food and some lovely salads and desserts. Many thanks to Malcolm for the loan of his barbecue, and to James Townsend for the cooking.

The next social event is a quiz evening to be held on Friday 17th October. Please look out for further details in the clubhouse.

On Saturday December 20th mince pies and mulled wine will be provided for anyone who fancies getting into the Christmas spirit with a game of mixed doubles! Please come along from 9:30.

Annual Quiz

Thanks to everyone who supported this year's quiz, entitled Who Was That?, especially members who took copies to sell to friends and relatives.

It was a difficult quiz set by two Cambridge graduates, but participants enjoyed the challenge. We sold 329 copies altogether, making a contribution to club funds of £284. Fortunately for Linda, only 25 were returned to be marked!

First prize went to Mr. Michael Wood of Bredon, Mr. Denis Locke of Hatherley came second and Mrs. Caroline Priest of Cheltenham came third.

The answers are in the pavilion and on the website. Our annual quiz is a popular and relatively easy way of raising money for the club. We shall need a compiler for next year's, so if you have an idea or a quiz we can use, please contact a committee member.

British Tennis

British Tennis is a new membership program launched by the LTA and replaces the previous LTA Advantage Club. There are various benefits to members, including advice from top professional coaches and players, information about competitions and events, priority booking for events, an e-newsletter, a membership card and an individual player rating.

Membership of British Tennis is free of charge and the club's allocation of Wimbledon Tickets is determined by the number of our members who join, so please register by visiting: http://www.lta.org.uk/britishtennismembership.

The closing date for our membership numbers to be counted towards our Wimbledon Draw allocation is 1st November. If you would prefer to enter by post please contact a committee member for an application form.